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Kissing Carrion: Stories Audio CD – Unabridged, November 8, 2022
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The first horror story collection from the author of Experimental Film, "one of the most powerful and unique voices in weird fiction today" (Paul Tremblay, award-winning author of A Head Full of Ghosts).
These seventeen tales take listeners into the uniquely twisted mind of "one of Canada's most promising new horror writers" (Publishers Weekly). From a live necrophilia show starring reanimated corpses to a confrontation between a security guard and inhuman squatters, from who can be found at an all-night laundromat to what lies in wait at the bottom of the sea, from undead addictions to all-consuming obsessions, Kissing Carrion is "a journey through some of the most beautifully rendered visions of darkness and death to be published this past year.
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The recent republication of Gemma Files's first two collections of short fiction, Kissing Carrion and The Worm in Every Heart, was a reminder of how long and how well she has been writing.-- "Locus, praise for the author"
- ASIN : B0B9QRKM7Y
- Publisher : Blackstone Publishing; Unabridged edition (November 8, 2022)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 1 pages
- ISBN-13 : 979-8212333641
- Item Weight : 2.82 ounces
- Customer Reviews:
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I read the first few stories in this collection and liked them, but was wondering, in the back of my head, what it was about this collection that had just about every big-name writer I know spinning their wheels. Then I read "Skeleton [...]."
The splatterpunks-- oh, excuse me, "writers of extreme horror"-- are a bunch from whom you expect certain things. They write the horror equivalent of hardboiled detective fiction, with all the stylistic qualities you would expect from it. Gemma Files writes a whole different ballgame, and so when you get to the squick, it has that much more of a punch. You know Charlee Jacob, Edward Lee, and that bunch are going to gross you out from the first page. Files seduces you; her stories are more Flannery O'Connor than Robert Devereaux. More to the point, not all of her stories climax in that orgy of disgust and violence that one expects from the splatterpunks, which makes it, when it surfaces in Files' work, even more powerful. Kissing Carrion showcases excellent work both ugly ("Skeleton [...]," especially) and quiet ("Bear-Shirt," for example, is exquisite).
You may love this book, and you may hate it; if you read it, however, you will not emerge from it unchanged. ****
Gemma Files knows what makes a good horror story. Horror is the only genre in which a hero is not rewarded for his insight and change. Instead, he pays a dear price for his newfound knowledge. In the most unpleasant, visceral and terrifying manner possible. Kind of like real life. The irony of horror is that in many ways this unreal genre of storytelling is also one of the most realistic.
Gemma Files knows this. Her writing is deep, insightful, meaningful. Often, the first few lines or paragraphs offer some of the greatest insights I've ever read and the story's just started! Trust me, there's usually more by the end of each of her twisted tales.
The most horrific monsters are always human. Gemma Files also knows this. Nothing a vampire or a werewolf or a Jason or a Freddy Kreuger can do compares to the horrors a human has, can and will do. Just read "Keepsake" and "Mouthful of Pins" for confirmation of this.
Love is terrifying. It scares the hell out of people. Of course, if love is terrifying then sex is truly horrific. And mean. And nasty. Conversely well-done horror is absolutely sexy. Gemma Files also knows this. The titular opener, "Kissing Carrion," sets the pace with a nice little romance about a man looking for his one true love. He also happens to be a necrophiliac. Ah, true love.
Gemma's strength is her ability to extract the absolute horror from love and its lesser sibling obsession as demonstrated in "Keepsake," in which a woman adoringly takes care of her sick younger brother only to find that there are some diseases which have absolutely no cure; "Rose-Sick," which will make you think twice about eternal love; "Torch Song," in which a love spell goes horribly awry.
She also respectfully pays homage and lends her own unique interpretation to such classic staples of horror as the haunted mansion in "Folly" and a great take on werewolves in "Skin City." "Seen" boasts one of the most unique serial killer slaying devices of all time. Eat your heart out, Jason with your cheap machete and Freddy with your overgrown Press-On fingernails!
I hate horror. But I loved "Kissing Carrion." I can only imagine that someone who actually likes horror will thoroughly enjoy her anthology.
However, the supernatural side of Gemma's writing seems to be secondary as she really delves deep into the psyches of her characters and in a very realistic and gutteral way. She has a cerebral style to her horror writing and its very effective.
So give Kissing Carrion a shot. It's perverse, crude and gross but also very well-written, honest and remarkably creative.